Revealed: The D**kheads Who Swear The F**king Most
It's official, Aussies are top-shelf potty mouths, with one in 10 of us slipping out a f**k, s**t or something similar at least 20 times a day.
The average Aussie swears seven times within a 24-hour period, men slightly more than women, according to a survey carried out by Oral B.
The worst of the bunch reside in South Australia, with 29 percent admitting to cursing more than 16 times a day. West Aussies, on the hand, have the cleanest mouths in the country, with half restricting their swearing to fewer than five times a day. One in five claim they don't swear at all.
For many of us, cussing is simply a way to relieve pent up frustration (54 percent), or to add comedic effect (24 percent) while only a select few use the expletives to cause offence (eight percent).
Men are more likely to swear around their friends, when they're at work or while watching sport. Women on the other hand tend to curse more around their partners than men do.
"We are more likely to swear around people we know better like friends and family," Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Macquarie University, Dr Nick Wilson, told 10 daily. "You don't go around and swear at strangers. It's become a kind of social glue."
Cussing is not a generational thing, with the survey finding that regardless of age, most people do it -- it's only the frequency and scenario that differs.
Millennials claim that fiery words are part of their everyday language (37 percent) and use them to either get their point across (27 percent) or make what they're saying more serious (29 percent).
Gen X, on the other hand, justify their swearing habits by claiming it relieves tension or frustration (59 percent), to show they are angry (47 percent) and to get their point across (27 percent).
The most frequently used swear word across the board is no surprise: f**king.
"It intensifies anything we are saying," Wilson said.
"For example, things can be f**king brilliant or f**king huge. It’s like using 'very' or 'really' but more so. It’s the most intensive word we can use in the English language".
While colourful language has long been a staple in Australian households, bars and cafes, it's now slowly seeping into the workplace too. However, Wilson said that it doesn't necessarily mean that swearing has become more common.
"Certain elements have lost their potency," he explained. "We’ve stopped considering words like bugger and bloody as swearwords. There is no taboo anymore, you hear them on the radio, see them on the tv."
There are, however, still terms that remain largely unacceptable.
"You’ll find that words like 'c**t' and 'mother f**ker are still very taboo... words that are gendered have higher taboo," Wilson said.
"If it can be used to direct at people as an offence, it will retain its taboo label."
Swearing isn't just about relieving tension, proving a point, and proving that you're mates, it also affects you physiologically.
"There have been studies where people have been put in a brain scanner like an MRI machine, and when they swear or hear swearing parts of the brain react that won't to other parts of the English language," Wilson said.
He explained that other studies show that tolerance to pain is higher if you swear, but only if expletives aren't peppered through your normal language.
The result of the study, which surveyed 1,002 respondents, should be taken with a grain of salt.
"In surveys such as this, men always say they do something more than they actually do, it's the opposite for women," Wilson said
So it's safe to say that most of us swear at some f**king stage.